It starts in the Equinox locker room at Fifth and Collins. A
sweet coffee drink celling (right under the CELL-FREE ZONE
sign). "You going to Twilo? Want me to pick you up?" And
then in the steam room, there's a guy with a bat tattoo on
his shoulder – except it's not: it's a TWILO Miami tattoo,
in that already-familiar graffito font.
The cabbie's never heard of it before. Twilo? It's new?
Very, we say. As in opening night. So down into the club
zone, that infamous section of Miami which recalls Rotterdam
after the War. The cabbie can't understand. Why they want to
put all these clubs here?
The police are out in force, but a benign presence. Security
which is comforting rather than off-putting. Past Studio A
and Space and there it is, the TWILO banner on the side of
an unprepossessing building. That must be it. A Red Bull
umbrella with a couple of security people hovering about a
chain-link fence. It feels like we're going
into lockdown – but there's also something to be said for
the club's recessed entrance, off the main club drag. A kind
of buffer zone for our kind. Also a smokers' courtyard.
It's only twelve-thirty, but already there's a line. South
Florida gets started earlier. We run into Hilton right away.
Happy as a clam, as well he should be. The staff is
extremely professional and courteous. No heavy attitude,
just welcoming. From the outside of the building, you might
think Spanish Renaissance – but inside, it's a clean square
room. Not unlike Stereo in Montreal or even Twilo New York.
A box which is going to find its way based on what the
patrons want and need. Already the sound seems sublime. None
of that ear-splintering feedback. Two freestanding walls of
light, giving the box dimension. A lounge beyond at both
ends – and above it all, the booth, hovering over the floor,
the better to insure that what's happening is right.
And what Victor is doing is definitely right. There's
something about Victor on the Beach. He's got history here,
lots of boyz. What he's playing for the first hour or so is
warm-up, feeling the place out. Making it his own. He's got
to warm it with his sound, which tonight seems a variant of
what he used to do at the Hammerstein Ballroom parties:
consistent and propulsive. He wants his mass moving as one.
The floor is packed. So much so that no one's in VIP –
except for a long-torsoed bartender. They grow them good
down here. Ripe and delicious. All that sun energy, so much
It's hot, very hot. Sweat glistening hot. That smooth yummy
skin. And Victor's beat. Once in a while, there's a vocal.
Something we recognize. For a minute, but then not. The best
thing? The floor. A wooden dance floor. So perfect under the
feet. Such give. Such bounce. Nothing hurts,
Water, we need water. Victor hasn't let us get water for
nearly an hour. We straggle back to the lounge. Stumble down
the stairs. Drenched and parched. Are you having fun?
Someone asks. You're having fun, right? Well, yeah. Hello?
Look at us. And then we're talking, and he says, Lemme give
you our card – and then we realize, it's GreatPartyPics boyz.
August and Parzham. OMG. At last. After so many emails and
postings, we're meeting at last. Hello, boyz. What
sweethearts. And their friend Roberto, and then there's Tony
Hayden, and Mel, too.
Already there's a sense of family in this club. The latest
Saturday night gay club in a long line of South Beach/Miami
clubs. The right people involved. It's only going to get
And we turn the corner by the wall of lights – and who
should we see? What is about the only element missing at
this particular point in time? There she is, the one and
only. It's her. Really her. Because of course how could she
miss an opening (and this is so much more than an envelope).
It's Nurse. It's Chris. She's on the floor. She's werqing
it. She's wild and wonderful. Photo op, photo op. (And just
how the hell does she manage to make it so she always looks
good in those shots? Secret, please.)
Victor's really in the zone now. So are we all. This is what
we're here for. To sweat it off, to work it out.
There's a song called "Genocide" playing. It reminds you.
Makes you remember. It's not like this everywhere. This is
"Freedom," which is how another song has it. The freedom to
dance. Not everyone has it. Make the most of it. Get out
there, werk it out.
It's nearly six a.m. when we leave. We might be the first to
walk out. No one else seems to be leaving. That's how South
Florida plays: all morning long. Next door the lines are
along the block for Space. Roger Sanchez is there all
morning. On the roof deck. Hilton's taking Mel, to relax.
We're frantic about a cab, but even that anxiety is
unnecessary. The police direct us, politely – and before
long we're back on the Beach.
What a fun night. What a fun space. It's what we need down
here, a good Saturday night gay club. Looking forward to
doing it all again. Congrats to all involved.